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How to Paraphrase and Avoid Plagiarism
Duration: (9:19)
User: n/a - Added: 11/4/13



Dear students,

Each semester, several students commit unintentional plagiarism on their first Journal Article Review (JAR).  Please carefully read the article I sent you "How to Avoid Plagiarism."  I recommend that you download the article and carefully study it.  I would also recommend that you print out and study the Summary section of my Sample Journal Article Review.  In this email, I want to highlight information on the topic of paraphrasing.

Most students have never had training on how to properly paraphrase.  They think that if you just change a few words from the source then you are paraphrasing the author's work.  Unfortunately, this is not correct.

 

Below, I have highlighted some basic information on paraphrasing.

  

  1. Paraphrasing Defined:  Paraphrasing refers to “taking a specific passage from another source and putting it in your own words” (PWWI, n.d., Slide 9).  When you paraphrase the words or thoughts of someone else, you must provide a properly formatted citation (PWWI, n.d.,  Slide 14).
  2. Avoid Problems Associated with Paraphrasing:  Paraphrasing involves: reading and understanding the meaning of what the author is trying to say; putting the author’s  thoughts into your own words; and, using your own sentence structures.  To avoid problems with paraphrasing, follow these “Four Rs” of paraphrasing (Principles of Paraphrasing, n.d., Module 3, Slide 10): 

 


The Four Rs of Paraphrasing

 

                  Reword

                  Rephrase

                  Restructure

                  Recheck (to make sure you have not directly quoted)

 

(Harvard Graduate School of Education, n.d., Module 3, Slide 10)

 

 

Stated differently, correct paraphrasing involves:



 Paraphrasing Involves:

  • Understanding a passage
  • Internalizing the meaning of the text
  • Restating the important points in your own voice

 

(Harvard Graduate School of Education n.d., Module 2, Slide 5)

 

 

 

  1. Paraphrasing Doesn’t Just Refer to “Words”:  Remember, paraphrasing pertains to more than just revising the words that someone else wrote; paraphrasing also pertains to revising the ideas contained in the words of others.

If you attempt to paraphrase ideas from another author/source, you must still provide a citation that specifies the source of the ideas you are paraphrasing.  Remember, you must provide an in-text citation for any idea that is based on something you read from another source—this includes ideas you are paraphrasing.

  1.  Use In-Text Citations for Paraphrased Material:  To avoid plagiarism, provide an in-text citation for each and every sentence you write that contains paraphrased ideas (in whole or in part) that are not your own (PWWI, n.d., Slide 14).

 

Dr. Campbell